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FINANCIAL AID

East Central College participates in a variety of student financial aid programs, such as scholarships, grants, loans, and part-time employment. A number of scholarships are awarded in recognition of academic achievement and special talent, but most aid is awarded on the basis of financial need. While the primary responsibility of paying for college rests with the student and his or her family, a student in need of financial help is encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office located in Student Services.

How to Apply

In order to receive any type of aid, students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which determines eligibility for federal and state financial aid. The FAFSA form may be obtained from high school counselors or the Financial Aid Office. However, students will get faster results by applying online at www.fafsa.gov. ECC’s Title IV school code is 008862. The application requires detailed information regarding the financial status of the student and their family. All information received is held in strict confidence. When the application is processed by the Department of Education, both the student and the college are notified. The Department of Education frequently requires colleges to collect additional documentation from students before financial aid eligibility can be determined. Students should allow four to six weeks for the entire process.



Financial aid recipients are required to submit an official high school transcript or GED certificate to the Registrar. Students who did not graduate from high school, a home school or receive a GED certificate may be eligible for financial aid if they score at or above the federally established guidelines on an approved ability-to-benefit test. More information regarding this requirement may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office.

Financial Aid Deadlines



March 15  ECC Scholarship Application, Priority Deadline for Fall

Students must complete the FAFSA application and submit an ECC Scholarship Application by this deadline to be given first consideration for a scholarship award.  High school seniors must also arrange to have a seventh semester transcript sent from their high school by this deadline.



April 1  Missouri State Aid Grant Deadline

To be considered for the grant, students must complete the FAFSA application by this deadline to verify Missouri residency.



May 1  Summer Financial Aid Priority Deadline

Students who complete their FAFSA application and provide all documents requested by this date will be held in their classes without payment if they are eligible for financial aid benefits. After this deadline, students who apply for financial aid must arrange to pay their tuition and fees or set up a payment plan by the payment due date in the Academic Calendar. 



July 1  Fall Financial Aid Priority Deadline

Students who complete their FAFSA application and provide all documents requested by this date will be held in their classes without payment if they are eligible for financial aid benefits.  After this deadline, students who apply for financial aid must arrange to pay their tuition and fees or set up a payment plan by the payment due date in the Academic Calendar. 



December 1  Spring Financial Aid Priority Deadline

Students who complete their FAFSA application and provide all documents requested by this date will be held in their classes without payment if they are eligible for financial aid benefits. After this deadline, students who apply for financial aid must arrange to pay their tuition and fees or set up a payment plan by the payment due date in the Academic Calendar. 

 

Financial Aid Benefit Programs



Grants

Several federal and state grants are available to students, based upon financial need.



The Federal Pell Grant program provides eligible students with a foundation of financial aid to help defray the cost of postsecondary education. The amount of the grant varies depending upon the need of the student, the cost of education, and the availability of funds. Any person who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, enrolled as an undergraduate student, and working toward the first baccalaureate degree is eligible to apply for a Federal Pell Grant.



The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program was established to make post-secondary educational opportunities available to qualified students who would be unable to obtain such benefits without financial assistance. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients with exceptional need.



Several Missouri State Aid grant programs are awarded on a financial need basis. To be considered for a state award, students must file a FAFSA by April 1.



Loans

Several types of loans are available at East Central College. Loans must be repaid by the student (emergency, subsidized, unsubsidized) or parent (PLUS loans).



Short-Term ECC Emergency Loans

Short-term emergency loans are awarded on a limited basis to students who will be receiving financial aid at a later date in the semester.



Subsidized Loans

Subsidized Direct Loans are based upon financial need. Students are required to enroll at least half-time (six credit hours) and make satisfactory academic progress toward a certificate or degree program. Information on current interest rates and other details regarding this loan program can be found at www.studentloans.gov.  Repayment of the loan begins six months after the student ceases to pursue at least six credit hours at an institution of higher education.



Unsubsidized Loans

Unsubsidized Direct Loans are available to students who do not qualify for the full amount of the Subsidized Direct Loan or are eligible to borrow additional funds through this program. These loans are not based upon financial need and the student borrower is responsible for interest accrued while in school and during deferment periods. Information on current interest rates and other details regarding this loan program can be found at www.studentloans.gov. Repayment of the principal loan amount begins six months after the student ceases to pursue at least six credit hours at an institution of higher education. 



PLUS (Parent) Loans

PLUS Loans are available to provide parents of dependent students a way to finance the student’s education beyond high school. A parent may borrow up to the cost of education minus other financial aid resources the student may receive. Information on current interest rates and other details regarding this loan program can be found at www.studentloans.gov. Repayment on a PLUS Loan begins 60 days after the loan is disbursed.



Scholarships - Institutional and East Central Foundation

There are numerous scholarships available to East Central College students who qualify. Departments within the college offer scholarships to reward academic achievement or performance, and a number of scholarships are made possible through the generosity of businesses, community organizations, and individuals.



Scholarships are available for students who are beginning or resuming their college coursework. The scholarship programs and their eligibility requirements are listed in the Financial Aid & Scholarship Guide available from the Financial Aid Office. Students are urged to apply for scholarships by the March 15 priority deadline to be considered for the following school year.



Visit the East Central College website to view Institutional and East Central College Foundation Scholarships at www.eastcentral.edu or inquire at the Financial Aid Office.



A+ Program

High school graduates who complete the A+ requirements at a high school approved by the Missouri A+ Schools Program are eligible to use their benefits at East Central College. Benefits may be used for a maximum of six semesters within four years following their high school graduation. The A+ benefit covers tuition and fees assessed to all students. Prior to receiving this benefit, students must:

  1. file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit all required documents,
  2. submit a signed A+ information form to the Financial Aid Office, and
  3. arrange to have their official high school transcript with the A+ seal sent to the Registrar.
Students are required to enroll full-time, i.e. 12 credit hours in the fall and/or spring and six credit hours, if enrolled, in the summer. A cumulative grade point average of 2.50 or higher is required to remain eligible. Students who attend other institutions full-time during the fall and spring are not eligible to use A+ benefits at ECC during the summer. State benefits are subject to change.



Work Study

East Central College participates in a work-study program funded jointly by the College and the Federal Work-Study Program. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours and must submit the FAFSA form and all required paperwork prior to employment. Students must maintain satisfactory grades while working on campus for continued eligibility. Students may work up to 19 3/4 hours per week while attending college. The job and the student’s financial need will determine the number of hours of work assigned. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information or apply for jobs in the Human Resources Office.



Veterans Benefits

Veterans may be eligible for educational benefits under one or more of the following programs:



  • Chapter 30 – Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty
  • Chapter 33 – Post 9/11 GI Bill
  • Chapter 1606 – Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve
  • Chapter 1607 – Reserve Educational Assistance Program
  • Chapter 35 – Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance
  • Chapter 31 – Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Program
  • Missouri Returning Heroes’ Education Act

    Information on the Missouri Returning Heroes Act can be found at the following links:  Senate Bill 830 and MRHA Q & A.
Each program or chapter has different eligibility requirements. The Veterans Administration (VA) awards benefits to eligible students based upon information provided by the Department of Defense. Monthly benefit amounts are determined by enrollment status and are paid directly to the student by the VA. Chapter 31 can be used to charge tuition/fees/books/supplies.  Chapter 33 can be used to charge tuition/fees. Students in all other chapters are responsible for payment of tuition/fees by the appropriate due date. Applications for veterans’ benefits are available in the ECC Financial Aid Office or online at www.gibill.va.gov. Students receiving veterans’ benefits are eligible to apply for other financial aid programs.

 

Maintaining Financial Aid Eligibility

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Students receiving financial aid have certain rights and responsibilities.  The applicant must, without exception, report any of the following changes to the Financial Aid Office:  (a) withdrawal from school, (b) transfer to another school, (c) change in enrollment status, (d) name change, (e) address change or parents’ address change, and (f) joining military service.

The financial aid applicant is responsible for obtaining, completing and filing the proper financial aid application, statements, and forms each year on a timely basis.  The applicant has the right to seek and receive full information and advising/counseling from the Financial Aid Office in regard to any financial matter.  If the family’s financial circumstances change due to death, divorce, marriage, disability, long-term unemployment or low income, the applicant’s eligibility may change.  The applicant must take the initiative to notify the office of these changes.

Correct information must be provided on all financial aid forms.  False reporting of information on financial aid application forms is a violation of law and may be considered a criminal offense.

An applicant for financial aid must return all additional documentation, verification, corrections, and/or new information requested by either the Financial Aid Office or the agency to which the financial aid application or confidential statement was submitted.

The applicant is responsible for reading and understanding all forms requiring a signature and for retaining copies for his/her records.  Applicants must accept responsibility for all signed agreements.  A student accepting a College Work Study Award must perform the work that is agreed upon by the applicant and the supervisor before funds will be disbursed.  The student is also responsible for understanding the school’s refund procedures and policies.

Minimum Standards of Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients

All students are required to meet the “minimum standards of academic progress” in order to receive federal and state financial aid. The policy of East Central College, in accordance with Title IV federal regulations, requires:

  • Successful completion of at least 12 semester hours of coursework with a grade point average of 1.80.
  • Successful completion of at least 24 semester hours of coursework with a grade point average of 2.00.
  • Successful completion of 67% of all coursework attempted.
  • Successful completion of a specified program of study within 150% of time allowed to earn a degree.

Note:  Successful completion of a course does not include grades of W, F, I, NC or H.

Additional information is available in the Office of Financial Aid or the College website: www.eastcentral.edu under Financial Aid – Academic Progress. 



Financial Aid Warning or Suspension

Students who do not meet the “minimum standards for academic progress” will be placed on financial aid warning for one semester. During this warning period, students may continue to receive aid.  Failure to meet the policy standards after the warning semester will result in financial aid suspension and loss of financial aid.

 

In certain situations, students may appeal their suspension by writing a letter of appeal to the Director of Financial Aid.  Documentation of extenuating circumstances may be required.

 

Return of Title IV Funds

 

Students who have been awarded federal financial aid funds are required to earn these funds by attending classes through at least 60% of the period of enrollment. Students who quit attending or withdraw from all courses prior to the 60% point in the semester or receive all failing or withdrawal grades for the semester, but have already received their federal financial aid disbursement for the semester, may have been overpaid. If an overpayment occurs, the student is required to repay a portion of the funds to the school and to the U.S. Department of Education.  For a full description of this policy, visit the Financial Aid Office or college website http://www.eastcentral.edu Financial Aid – Academic Progress.

 

60% Attendance Date: Spring 2011 Semester: April 4, 2011
60% Attendance Date: Summer 2011 Semester: July 15, 2011
60% Attendance Date: Fall 2011 Semester: October 31, 2011
60% Attendance Date: Spring 2012: March 26 2012
60% Attendance Date: Summer 2012: July 5, 2012
 
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